Summer is not “downtime” at St. Margaret of Scotland. While students are off from school and many organizations suspend some activities, we take advantage of their absences to catch up on projects to our facilities.
Tuckpointing of the rectory was begun in May and continued for six weeks. Typical of the old buildings of our neighborhoods, the aging of grout between bricks allowed water to infiltrate the rectory over the years, causing leakage and plaster damage to the interior. To end the cycle of corrosion and repair, we invested in the long term solution of a complete tuckpointing of the rectory. The majority of this expense was met through an Ensuring Parish Viability grant provided by the Annual Catholic Appeal. We are fortunate to have received this generous gift from the Archdiocese which helped offset the cost to St. Margaret.
The “Preserving Our Future” campaign raised just over $1,450,000. Meeting our goal allowed us to begin in earnest at the end of the school year the major project of air conditioning those parts of St. Margaret School that are without – St. Joseph and Faith Halls and the gymnasium. Overseeing this approximately $900,000 endeavor is Jarrell Contracting.
A split system is being installed that allows individual units in each space to provide regulated temperatures – either cool air or heating. In the hallways, overhead tiles have been lifted and walls have been burrowed through to run the miles of electrical wiring and copper tubing for the units. The transformers are in place to deliver the required electricity to power the system. For the gymnasium, the air conditioning units have been hoisted onto the roof, and the ductwork has been installed in the ceiling.
Elsewhere in the school, a new reception office has been created out of supply room in Faith Hall. This will provide a more efficient location for greeting visitors who enter the school and monitor the coming-and-going of those passing through the building. New administrators, Ms. Clare Abkemeier (principal) and Mrs. Melinda Yaklin (assistant principal), have reconfigured an office they will share. Old steel mesh screens, once covering the windows on the west side of Faith Hall, were removed making the building more attractive and allowing more sunlight in. Our parish maintenance supervisor, Mr. Scott Wesemann, is closely involved in all these projects and making certain they will be completed in time for the first day of school on August 26. We are blessed also to have our parishioner, Mr. Mike Diehl, who daily is working hands-on with many of the details of things that need to get done at school.
Other money raised by our capital campaign will go to church projects, like refinishing the pews and replacing the flooring below the pews. This will probably take place sometime next year, after we have completed payment of the school air conditioning. The remainder of campaign gifts will go to establish a maintenance fund that will be utilized for ongoing needs of our facilities.
There are no crickets chirping at St. Margaret of Scotland this summer. Things are getting done, thanks to your generous contributions!